love for my four-legged boys of the house

in august 2002 milo was born. but today, 8 years ago, we adopted him from the shelter and brought him home. i didn’t realize this until last night when we were going through photographs to print for our mantle. i came across these gems. they were taken on the day we brought our little man home.

oh milo. we love you so much and are so thankful everyday you come home to us from all of your outdoor adventures.

and for a sam update. we took our guy to the ophthalmologist yesterday. did you know they have veterinary ophthalmologists? we didn’t. about a week or so ago we noticed a liquid mass about the size of a centimeter below his pupil. we took him to the vet and then were referred.

so to the ophthalmologist we went. we learned that he has a pigmented raised mass in the ventral aspect of his right eye called a uveal cyst. (just like i said above only it sounds more intelligent when the doctor says it!) these cysts form in the ciliary body in the back of the eye and float through the pupil and often settle at the bottom of the anterior chamber. they are benign (thank goodness!) and rarely require any therapy (our wallets also so thank goodness!).

the main concern/question for sam is if these cyst are an early sign of a disease unique to golden retrievers called golden retriever uveitis (gru). not a lot is known about this eye disease but the worst case scenario is he will develop glaucoma which can lead to blindness. there are treatments for glaucoma if that develops but goldens don’t typically respond well.

so my job today is to find out sam’s breeding line and whether or not it shows this condition. researchers have actually traced this disease back and have found it originated in a champion golden named “gold rush.” so lets all cross our fingers that mister gold rush and any of his off spring did not produce my sam. depending on what i find will determine our next action. if i don’t find the condition in his breeding line then the doctor wants to see him in a year. if i do, well, she wants to start him on a very low dose of anti-inflammatory eye drops and recheck him in 6 months. boy oh boy. it looks like the american kennel club and i will have some lengthy conversations today tracing blood lines.

i think i realized yesterday afternoon that i love sam too much. is that possible? i mean, he is a dog. but he and i have been through so much together. he has been with me every minute this past year. always by my side. in my lap. next to me in my bed. i am so scared for him. he is fine. he knows no different from a week ago to today. worst case scenario won’t be for many, many years. and that is worst case. so i am just trying to focus of finding out information and researching. oh and we are all starting to take fish oil supplements. even the dogs. the more i am learning the more i am realizing how inflammation can impact so much of our body.

oh science. i never appreciated you until now.